February 5, 2017

What Is Man?

by Phineas Parkhurst Quimby

There is a great difference of opinion in regard to this question. For my part I believe that every substance throws a shadow. Now is man the shadow or the substance? I contend that what the world calls man is not the substance of man but the shadow, and, if he is the shadow, what is the substance? Wisdom is solid and man is the shadow. Then how it is that the substance, shadow, has a form? By the design of wisdom. God is the name of the great wisdom that decides and governs all things through the medium called mind, which becomes the shadow.

Wisdom or God speaks the idea and it takes form according to direction. Man is the plant or tree created in this medium. So as it grows, it receives its light from the great father of all, wisdom. As this life enters the plant or shadow called man, it becomes the son of God. The original child of God is perfect, but its shadow is to the child, matter. So the matter or mind called man is the tree or plant that receives the life. This life is the real man; the shadow is the medium or mind and that is the changeable idea or tree called mind. Man or the son of God or wisdom is not seen in the shadow, no more than God is seen, but the whole creation speaks His name and shows His power.

So all created things or shadows show by their motion and act that there is an intelligence that governs and directs them. Man is the name of that wisdom that directs all the acts of the human species and also which governs and directs the brute creation beyond what is natural. The natural brute is like the natural fruit; the cultivated brute is the effect of man; the natural man or savage is like the natural fruit; the cultivated man is the developing of the original seed, the scientific man or God. The grafted fruit or ideas is the development of the scientific man.

Life is not intelligence but is the ocean in which wisdom lives. Matter or mind is the shadow of life; so as wisdom is in life it speaks ideas into existence. It shadows forth life and knowledge, but not wisdom, for wisdom is the substance and knowledge the shadow. So a man of wisdom and a man of knowledge have two separate identities. The sick man is the effect of knowledge or opinion and to cure him is to destroy his opinion.

It may be said a child has no opinion and yet it has a disease. A disease and an opinion are one and the same, for they are both in the mind and neither contains any wisdom, for wisdom destroys both. It is true that you cannot see the effect of an opinion on the body always, neither can you see a disease, as it is called, at first, but after a while you see the phenomena. This is the way with an opinion. There are certain facts, as they are called, that are true and every one will admit them as such. A certain poison, arsenic, is admitted to be a poisonous substance. Who made it poison? It must be God or wisdom. If the wisdom of man is a part of God, can it not make a poison by a certain direction of the mind? For mind is the substance wisdom works in. Mind is matter and all kinds of matter is the result of wisdom and if man knows himself he is capable of making matter from the invisible mind. Everyone knows that stones are found in the bladder. So the mind of man contains all the elements of the vegetable and animal kingdoms, so these must be under the same control that man's body is.

August 1862


Quotation by Phineas Parkhurst Quimby


Daily Quotation of Phineas Parkhurst Quimby for Sunday, February 5, 2017

There is a principle which if rightly understood would prolong the lives and happiness of nations, but this principle has never been recognized by the world in nations or individuals The standard of opinions has always held sway and that is arbitrary. Yet there is an element in both individuals and nations which is science, which has its secret influence and has always governed the civilized world. It is not recognized by the wisdom of opinions but is finally referred to after the opinions are exhausted by their own weakness and their power is gone; then steps in this third power and settles the trouble. Wisdom is supposed to be this last-named power, but true wisdom is one thing and political wisdom is another. But if the former settles the trouble there is an end of it.” ~Phineas Parkhurst Quimby

Article: Government

Printed Page: 289; Kindle Location: 9812

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Henry Wood (1834-1909) can be described as one of the pioneers of the New Thought movement, even though he was neither a minister nor the founder of a church or center. A successful businessman and author, Wood was forced by ill health to retire. He somehow came across the principles later known as New Thought, was healed, and sought to help others learn to heal themselves. He was one of the founders of the Metaphysical Club and at one time served as its president.

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The plain fact remains that the spread of the movement has been due to practical fruits, and the extremely practical turn of character of the American people has never been better shown than by the fact that this, their only decidedly original contribution to the systematic philosophy of life, should be so intimately knit up with concrete therapeutics. (p. 94)

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Editor’s Corner

We are continuing our exploration of Phineas Quimby’s Christology. What was his interpretation of the work and person of Jesus Christ in his own words?

Today’s featured article is What Is Man? that begins on page 615 of Phineas Parkhurst Quimby: His Complete Writings and Beyond.

In Wisdom, Love, and Light,
Ron Hughes

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